LLOYD, John (1750-1815), of Hafodunos and Wigfair, Denb. and Tyddyn, Flint.
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Family and Education
b. 25 Jan. 1750, 1st s. of Howel Lloyd of Hafodunos and Wigfair by Dorothea, da. of Rev. Benjamin Conway, warden of Christ’s hosp., Ruthin. educ. ?Oxford;1 M. Temple 1770, called 1781, bencher 1811, reader 1813. unm. suc. fa. 1783.
Lt. Denb. supp. militia until 1797.
By the time he was 25, Lloyd, a Welsh speaking landowner who was conversant with every branch of natural science and called ‘The Philosopher’ by his friends, was a fellow of the learned societies: his interests included potholing, earthquakes, numerology and astronomy.2 He was, moreover, ‘one of the politest gentlemen in Wales’ and according to Mrs Thrale, who paid tribute to his philanthropy, ‘extremely agreeable, gentlemanlike in carriage, polished in talk, and has a mind so completely stored—I consider his acquaintance as a treasure’.3 Called to the bar, after a tour of the Continent, he practised on the Northern and Chester circuits. In 1792 he joined Thomas Pennant’s loyal Flintshire association, but political life did not appeal to him. As a magistrate he was roughly handled by a riotous mob at Denbigh in 1795; he failed in an attempt to secure the appointment of steward of Bromfield and Yale in the same year, or even the deputy steward-ship, being thwarted by Sir Watkin Williams Wynn. It was under peculiar circumstances that he represented Flintshire for two years. He was put up at the by-election of 1796 when there was opposition to the return of Sir Thomas Mostyn, still a minor, in his father’s place: the allegation freely made at the time that Lloyd was being sponsored by the Mostyn family as their friend and stopgap seems to have been warranted, for though Lloyd went through the process of unseating Mostyn on petition, he resigned his seat in Mostyn’s favour in 1799, pleading ‘indisposition’.4
While in Parliament, he supported Pitt’s administration, and in his maiden speech, 10 Nov. 1797, expressed his and his constituents’
detestation of the perfidious conduct of the French Directory, and although the county of Flint, as a mineral county suffered in a particular manner, from the continuance of the war, having almost entirely put a stop to the lead trade, yet, he trusted, there would not be found in any part of these kingdoms a set of men more ready to oppose the insatiable ambition of the tyrannical rule of France.
Charles Grey* commented:
When I see such men as Martin and Lloyd whose integrity I cannot doubt and who form the judgment of plain and fair men, joining with ministers in reprobating the conduct of the French, and in their exhortation to a vigorous prosecution of the war as our only choice or hope, I am induced to think the feeling and judgment of the public likely to take the same bent.5
Lloyd voted for Pitt’s assessed taxes, 4 Jan. 1798, and it was probably he rather than Francis Lloyd* who, as ‘Mr Lloyd’, declared himself ‘a firm friend’ to Pitt’s income tax plan, 17 Dec. 1798, as ‘one that should tax all equally’; perhaps, too, he was the ‘Mr Lloyd’ who on 18 Mar. 1799 proposed tax relief for the poorer clergy and on 25 Feb. preceding suggested fresh legislation on the sale of liquor to increase revenue. Lloyd made no attempt to return to Parliament, but remained conservative and opposed Catholic relief. He died 24 Apr. 1815, leaving his estates to his sisters and his nephew. His library of over 10,000 books and his scientific instruments were sold in January 1816.6
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Thus Williamson, Benchers of the M. Temple, but he appears in Al. Ox. only as DCL 1793.
- 2. Banks Letters ed. Dawson include much correspondence with him.
- 3. NLW, Peniarth mss 416, diary of Mrs Elizabeth Baker, 19 Jan. 1799; K. C. Balderstone, Thraliana, 908.
- 4. NLW mss 12423, f. 34; Taylor, Hist. Notices of Flint, 172.
- 5. Grey mss, Grey to T. Bigge, 15 Nov. 1797.
- 6. NLW mss 10804, Charles to Sir W. Williams Wynn, 6 Apr. 1807; DWB.